AB 32-type policies haunt, harm European economy

AB 32-type policies haunt, harm European economy

Ex Girlfriend Came Back After 2 Years

gnnone size-full wp-image-51681″ alt=”AB-32″ src=”http://calwatchdog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/AB-32.jpg” width=”300″ height=”167″ align=”right” hspace=”20″ />California's headlong rush to force a broad switch to cleaner-but-costlier energy has long been depicted as something that's either neutral or beneficial for the state's economy, with little or no downside. AB 32 and other state laws mandating use of renewable energy are rarely looked at with anything resembling critical objectivity.

Maybe all the reports about what AB 32-type policies are doing to Europe will change that. Here's a fresh example from Forbes.com:

“The stability of Europe’s electricity generation is at risk from the warped market structure caused by skyrocketing renewable energy subsidies that have swarmed across the continent over the last decade.

“This sentiment was echoed a week ago by the CEOs of Europe’s largest energy companies, who produce almost half of Europe’s electricity. This group joined voices calling for an end to subsidies for wind and solar power, saying the subsidies have led to unacceptably high utility bills for residences and businesses, and even risk causing continent-wide blackouts.

“The group includes Germany’s E.ON AG, France’s GDF Suez SA and Italy’s Eni SpA, and they unanimously pointed the finger at European governments’ poorly thought-out decision at the turn of the millennium to promote renewable energy by any means.

“The plan seemed like a good one in the late 1990s as a way to reverse Europe’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, particularly from Russia and the Middle East. But it seems the execution hasn’t matched the good intentions, and the authors of the legislations didn’t understand the markets.

“'The importance of renewables has become a threat to the continent’s supply safety,' warned senior global energy analyst, Colette Lewiner …”

Didn't even help reduce greenhouse gases

What's striking about Europe's energy policy is that it didn't even achieve its fundamental goal.

“'We’ve failed on all accounts: Europe is threatened by a blackout like in New York a few years ago, prices are shooting up higher, and our carbon emissions keep increasing,' said GDF Suez CEO Gérard Mestrallet … '”

In the U.S., meanwhile, carbon dioxide emissions are plunging. Not because of AB 32-type policies. Primarily because of fracking — which greens hate but which has yielded access to natural gas reserves and spurred a shift away from much-dirtier coal.

An argument can be made that Europe's approach is fundamentally more flawed than California's because of its heavy subsidies. But in general, any time government issues sweeping mandates that affect large parts of the economy instead of letting the free market sort things out, costly inefficiencies will result.

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